As everyone and everything around us seems to be winding up for Halloween frights and festivities, it’s time to talk about those eerie and spooky things that can actually happen with your home’s systems. Sure, there are many things out there that do in fact seem scary, but your plumbing or HVAC system shouldn’t be one of them.
You should never be fearful of the things that go bump in the night – at least not of those coming from your home itself! So, let’s take a look at a few things that have been known to happen within our homes over time, and see how you can fix them for a more restful night.
- Putrid-Smelling Sewer – For homeowners, there can be nothing quite as jarring as a stinky sewer. Sometimes, though, your nostrils may come across an odor so frightful that you find yourself asking, “did something die down there?” It’s a smell far too many of us know, and it usually comes from a floor drain, perhaps in the basement, or a shower or sink drain. Most often, this smell is a result of a dry p-trap, which is the u-shaped pipe under your sink or under a floor drain. That u-curve is designed to hold water in it as natural barrier from your pipes’ sewer gasses. But, when these p-traps are dry (usually as a result of not being used very often), those horrifying gasses can make their way into your home. The best cure to this foul stench is to remember to routinely pour some water down the drain to refill the p-trap. But, if you’re still experiencing the smell even after doing this a few times, then there could be a blockage in your plumbing venting system, or a crack in the pipe, or, if the smell is coming from your bathroom, a loose toilet. In any of these cases, a professional will have to address the issue.
- Ghost Flushing – Yes, this really does happen, and no, it has nothing to do with actual ghosts. Ghost flushing is one of those things that is a bit eerie when you first experience it without any knowledge as to what’s happening, but it’s a fairly common household issue. No, this isn’t a sign that your home is haunted. It’s actually just a sign that you have a leak somewhere. A “ghost” flush happens when your tank slowly leaks water causing the toilet to refill by flushing itself. Fortunately, there’s usually an easy fix for this problem. You just have to replace the flapper in the toilet. If that doesn’t do the trick, then you may have a greater issue on your hands that you’ll need to have a professional examine.
- Bone-Chillingly Scary Furnace – For some, turning on the furnace for the first time of the season can be a bit scary, especially if it hasn’t been well maintained, is dirty, or over a decade old. It’s recommended that you get your furnace cleaned twice a year (once in Fall and once in Spring) to keep things clear and under control. But, sometimes, despite regular maintenance, some furnaces just can’t be tamed. They may stop blowing out warm air, or they may just stop working altogether. In any case, it’s important to have your furnace checked by a certified tech when issues pop up.
Sometimes, the things that go bump in the night are just our homes telling us that it’s time for some routine maintenance. So, to keep things from getting even scarier, call in a professional to check your systems. Don’t let the fear of the unknown keep you from living happily and safely in your home.